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State takes over Zaake’s case against individual police officers

MP Zaake and his supporters after Mityana court ruling on Wednesday afternoon. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mityana chief magistrate Kule Moses has allowed the directorate of public prosecution (DPP) to take over the torture case which Mityana MP Francis Zaake filed against six police officers in a private prosecution.

The magistrate in his ruling stated that the constitution allows the office of the DPP to take over a case at any stage. He extended criminal summons for the officers until October 6th when they will be expected to appear in court for the hearing.

Zaake through his lawyers led by Eron Mukama instituted private prosecution charges against Wamala region Police Commander Bob Kagarura, Mityana district Police commander Alex Mwine, the commandant of Kireka Special Investigations Division Elly Womanya, Hamdan Twesigye, Musa Walugembe and Isaac Oketcho for allegedly torturing him in the process of arresting him for not respecting the covid-19 guidelines in March this year.

State Attorney Cathy Basuuta of the DPP’s office in Mityana applied for the state to take over the matter from Zaake and his lawyers who had filed it as a private prosecution.

Mukama says that whereas court has allowed the DPP to prosecute the matter on behalf of Zaake while his lawyers participate as watching brief, they would keep a close eye to the proceedings to prevent the DPP from destroying it because there is enough evidence and witnesses to line before court for the matter to be successfully prosecuted.

Meanwhile, Elias Tumwebaze lawyer for the accused police officers has welcomed court’s ruling but added that the defence should not stop challenging the jurisdiction of the same court hearing the charges.

Tumwebaze contends that whereas some of the accused police officers are from Mityana where the offence was reportedly committed, others have never worked or been in Mityana and therefore charging them in Mityana court is not proper.

However, Zaake has expressed total disappointment with the ruling saying that he does not expect justice to prevail considering the fact that it is the same state which alleged that he tortured himself.



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